A national cycling strategy for more and safer cycling

The Government has adopted ‘A national cycling strategy for more and safer cycling – contributing to a sustainable society and a high quality of life throughout the country’. The Government wants to encourage long-term sustainable transport solutions. More and safer cycling can help reduce congestion and the environmental impact of travel in built-up areas, and contribute to improved public health. The Government is investing a total of SEK 100 million in an additional cycling initiative in 2016–2017.

Illustration: Itziar Castany Ramirez

One of the strategy's important starting points is cyclists. They are not a homogeneous group with similar travel habits, needs and circumstances; they are women and men, girls and boys of different ages and at various life stages who use bicycles in different ways and for different purposes.

The national cycling strategy is the first of its kind and has the overall aim of promoting more and safer cycling. The strategy is an expression of the Government's ambitions in the area of cycling and a platform for future joint efforts. It aims to strengthen positive cycling trends and encourage more people to change their habits and start cycling. The strategy focuses on the following: more bicycle-friendly municipalities; greater knowledge about different groups of cyclists; higher priority for bicycle traffic in community planning; more demonstration projects; more functional and user-friendly cycling infrastructure, and adapted management and maintenance; and increased physical activity. A number of assignments to promote more and safer cycling are currently being prepared in connection with the strategy. In conjunction with adopting the strategy, the Government also took decisions on two specific assignments:

• The Government has instructed Transport Analysis, together with relevant actors, to design a uniform method for measuring bicycle traffic at local and regional level, and to submit proposals on how to promote its consistent application.

• The Government has tasked the Swedish Transport Administration with allocating SEK 9 million to non-profit organisations in 2017 for information and education initiatives to promote more and safer cycling
Alongside the work on the strategy, a review of regulations with a bearing on cycling has been conducted at the Government Offices. The Government intends to refer several proposals for consideration concerning regulatory amendments, including to allow cyclists over the age of 15 to ride on the road although a cycle path exists, and the possibility of allowing municipalities to create special cycle streets through an amendment to the Road Traffic Ordinance.

Alongside the work on the strategy, a review of regulations with a bearing on cycling has been conducted at the Government Offices. The Government intends to refer several proposals for consideration concerning regulatory amendments, including to allow cyclists over the age of 15 to ride on the road although a cycle path exists, and the possibility of allowing municipalities to create special cycle streets through an amendment to the Road Traffic Ordinance.